Posted on by Dylan Tran

Sundial Editors Attend East Coast Convention

November 23, 2022

Daily Sundial student editors at MediaFest22 in Washington, D.C.

A dozen Daily Sundial student editors recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for MediaFest22, a prominent convention sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Associated College Press and College Media Association. The event brought together professional journalists, student journalists and college media advisers from across the country to participate in workshops, breakout sessions, networking and award presentations. 

The workshops led by industry professionals helped illuminate the professional world of journalism for students and prepare them for their future and current careers. 

“Each of the workshops offered me insight into how I can improve as an editor and become a more balanced reporter,” said sports editor Edward Segal. “The sports roundtable showed me there are different ways of covering sports and that I have to find a way that works for our paper without making it too similar to what the athletic department is doing. I also went to workshops that ranged from how to cover music to how to talk about issues in society without making them partisan. I learned skills and values that will help me build my journalistic repertoire.”

For students, the convention demystified professional journalism, offering insight on covering breaking news, mass shootings, the courts, politics and climate change, getting started with freelance work and internships, researching public records, amplifying new and diverse voices, using Google Tools and drones, utilizing the SPJ Code of Ethics in the newsroom, headline writing and media law updates. Keynote speakers Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal that took down President Richard Nixon and his administration, shared their perspectives on the 50th anniversary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters burglary and gave advice for new journalists entering the field. 

During the awards presentation, Ashley Orellana, the Sundial’s magazine editor, took second place in the best audio slideshow category of the national Pinnacle Awards. 

“One of the biggest takeaways (from the convention) was always be authentic to yourself, no matter what, even as a journalist. That really helps you come out above others. It’s a very competitive field,” said Orellana. “The keynote speakers, Woodward and Bernstein, were very much themselves. And I think that’s what attracted more people to them.”  

Outside of the convention, staff members were able to spend quality time together. One night, the editors had dinner with NPR White House and congressional correspondent Ximena Bustillo to hear advice on careers and covering beats, among other topics.  All in all, the trip was a memorable college experience for students.

“It was really helpful to go on a trip with all our colleagues and to get a little bonding experience outside of the newsroom. And I think it brought us all closer together and made it a lot more enjoyable to work together,” said copy editor Maia Aslaksen.

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